Call it coincidence, but almost every time I meet someone, Judaism comes up in conversation. I realize this may be because of my career, but it’s also because Judaism is a huge part of my life. Many of my peers and colleagues talk about the difficulties that the Jewish partner in an interfaith relationship has explaining to his/her significant other why Judaism is so important. I am married to a Jewish man, and I too can have trouble explaining why Judaism is so important to me. To me, Judaism is about traditions, culture, family, community, being social and making life more meaningful. Israel is also a huge part of my Judaism. I’ve traveled to Israel six times and been a trip leader three times, twice with Birthright. I also love that Judaism encourages lifelong learning. It has been passed down for generations and it is important to me to continue to pass it down. This strong connection has led me on a path to working in outreach with connecting Jews to Judaism AND interfaith couples and families to Judaism and each other.
My beliefs match the mission of InterfaithFamily.com where I am the Director of Network Activities. InterfaithFamily.com empowers interfaith individuals, couples, families and their children to make Jewish choices, and encourages Jewish communities to welcome them. I believe maximizing the number of interfaith families who find fulfillment in Jewish life and raise their children as Jews is essential to the future strength and vitality of the Jewish community.
My day-to-day practice may be less observant than my great-grandparents and my ritual participation may not be the biggest part of my life. However, the morals and values that guide my choices in life are rooted in Judaism. Our home is always open to friends and visitors. I try to treat others as I would like to be treated and I do my best not to gossip. I also work hard on my character and take constructive criticism very seriously.
Judaism should provide a community of people who are there for you in good times and bad. It should be a community that is welcoming to everyone – especially those families and couples that are diverse and non-traditional. It should be a community that embraces interfaith couples as part of the Jewish people and helps them make Jewish choices. My venture All Aboard, The Interfaith Journey of Discovery, is the perfect opportunity for local interfaith couples in their 20s and 30s to be given a section of the Birthright pie that so many Jews 18-26 have been lucky enough to taste. It gives them an opportunity to be included and it gives the Jewish community a chance to get on board! All Aboard is the next step in being an all-inclusive Jewish community.
Meet Annie & Will, a couple in their 20s interested in All Aboard!